#FirstWoTimer | The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn

07 December 2020


Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and I am pretty much always on the hunt for a new epic fantasy series to immerse myself in. Wheel of Time was a series I had heard of fleetingly through Goodreads and Bookstagram, but I was never inspired to look more into what it was about until I found Daniel Greene's channel and binge watched his videos. Daniel is the quintessential WoT nerd, and if anyone was going to convince me to read it, it had to be him. I impulsively bought the first book, The Eye of the World with no idea what I was committing myself to.

Wheel of Time is a huge series! It's so much more vast with more perspectives and characters than even the Lord of the Rings, and with far more installments than any other fantasy series I've ever attempted to read before. With fourteen full length tomes and a prequel, it didn't seem fair to simply wait until I had completed the series to review it as a whole. I will inevitably forget details along the way, and I didn't want to wait years to finally talk about these books. 

I decided to review WoT every three books from the perspective of a first time reader. If you've read the series, I'd love to hear your thoughts and any clarification for aspects I might have misunderstood, but please no spoilers beyond the books I'm reviewing!

The first three books of the series, The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, and The Dragon Reborn, were all incredible reads in their own way. The set up is gradual, and the history and world building is masterfully handled. The prologue of The Eye of the World is so iconic because it literally starts the series off with a bang, providing a small glimpse of the history and conflict of the story while leaving you wanting to know more. Robert Jordan doesn't do huge information dumps often. Most of the information and world building is picked up through context and dialogue, and most of the time you are still left with more questions than you started with. In fantasy books, I love this slow paced kind of story.

I will say that the first book, after the prologue, was very average for me. That's not a bad thing, though. I think there are a lot of people who read the series for the first time and give up after The Eye of the World. It's not because it's a painful, horrible book, but because it can seem like just a rehashing of every other classic fantasy series. It's the story of a farm boy who is thrust on an adventure after his village is threatened by a mysterious evil force. There's a group of companions, and a wise leader who teaches them about the magic of the world. It was fine, but nothing extraordinary. If I had not been encouraged by promises of greatness in the next books, I doubt I would have been too motivated to pick up the second book quickly myself.

The Great Hunt changed everything for me with the series. I absolutely loved it! It made so many things I had either ignored or forgot as unimportant in the first book make sense. Something I didn't realize while reading The Eye of the World is that Robert Jordan does not write anything lightly. It may not seem like it at first, but every word means something. Every offhanded comment will probably come back in the future and fit in the puzzle. And that's what I appreciated the most with The Great Hunt. While it was still a lot of set up, I think it propelled the series in a different direction than other fantasy stories.

I was excited for The Dragon Reborn after the exciting, unexpected ending The Great Hunt left off on, and it was good. It continued through the repercussions of the last book and develops the other characters as Rand, the main character, is hardly present in this book. But I appreciated the deeper look into the motivations and personalities of the other characters (especially Mat, he's my favorite!). And I also appreciated the look into the other cultures of the world, such as the Aeil. While The Dragon Reborn wasn't quite as exciting to me as The Great Hunt, I still really enjoyed it!

I can't say much to the grand scheme of the plot or arcs yet, since these books were a lot of set up. But I can see the glimmer of potential in everything going on. I'm most curious about Rand, Egwene, and Mat. I would love to see more of Lan and Moiraine, since I felt they were sorely underexposed in the second and third books. 

From this point in the series, I expect there to be a lot less exposition and set up and more action. There's been a lot of buildup, and I think it's going to begin to come to a head soon, maybe even within the fourth installment. I can't wait to see how the characters I've grown to care about grow and mature through the journey, and I can't wait to see how Robert Jordan will continue to make the classic fantasy tropes his own. 


  1. I've heard a lot about this series! Maybe one day I'll read it, but until then I enjoy your reviews. :D

    1. It's definitely a long series to commit to, but if you get the chance I highly recommend it! I only hope my reviews do it justice!